Mixed reaction to shopping centre revamp

Table View Shopping Centre is set to get a facelift from next month.

Plans to close the Table View Shopping Centre for a lengthy makeover have met with a mixed response from the community.

The centre is owned by Pick n Pay and is also known as the Pick n Pay mall. It will close for the facelift from Monday February 1. Some residents fear losing their favourite shops while others say a revamp is long overdue.

Jonathan Geach, 60, lives nearby and says the closure will be an inconvenience.

“This area has an elderly population, and if they take away this shopping centre, even if it’s temporary, it will be bad. There’s a nice supermarket there, a pharmacy, small restaurants, even a radio station. Now they want to take that away and we have to use the next nearest mall, Bayside Mall. That mall gets too busy, the elderly have to cross busy intersections to get there and it’s not the small and quiet shopping centre we are used to.”

Sue Romburgh, who lives at Rietvlei Park, a complex across the street from the centre, said she had heard that the revamp would include the demolition of the building. “This sounds like a substantial upgrade and we have no idea if another sized ’Bayside’ building will be erected.

“How will traffic flow be affected on the short strip of road in Pentz Drive that leads to access to this shopping centre with construction vehicles? We already have a problem with cars trying to park to get to Table View police station. What is the environmental impact on the canal running along the premises and the impact on water usage, as we already also have strain on our drainage system around this block?”

However, Steve McDonagh, Rietvlei Park’s body corporate chairman, said he did not expect the mall revamp to cause traffic problems.

“I think the traffic being used for construction will be offset by a reduction in shopper traffic, so I don’t see a problem with that. I was living in Rietvlei Park when Pick n Pay built this little mall, and although there was less residential traffic back then, we were not affected by construction vehicles. By the way, I am looking forward to the upgraded centre because it will offer upmarket shopping – just across the road. I also think it will improve an already buoyant resale value of Rietvlei Park.”

Johan Maree, regional manager for Baby City, said they would close their branch at the mall and planned to open a new one at Table View Mall by April this year. He said centre management had told them the revamp could last nine months.

“We have had a good relationship with the management of Pick n Pay mall at Table View, and wish them all the best with the upcoming revamp of the centre,” he said.

A shop owner at the centre, who did not want to be named, said he was worried the revamp would kill many businesses there.

“We were given two months’ notice, but that was over the Christmas period, which is a difficult time of year to try to find new premises as most people are on holiday and not in work mode at all. Add to this you are trying to make up the losses from Covid hard lockdown. Pick n Pay doesn’t care for the people that have made them a success in the past and many of the shops are closing down completely and many people are now out of work due to this.

“For a company that is meant to be a people’s company, they have not shown any compassion at all,” he said.

In a statement to Tabletalk, Pick n Pay said the centre was expected to reopen in late November and only the building’s interior design would change.

“The size of the centre will remain almost exactly the same size but will have some shop adjustments meaning the new layout is slightly smaller. The Pick n Pay supermarket will be completely revamped. Almost all the same shops will be back, and there will be some new ones. The centre will continue to have as much parking available to shoppers and the access points will remain unchanged,” the statement said.

Pick n Pay said that due to the extent of the renovations it had decided to close the centre “to make the improvements as quickly and efficiently as possible to avoid prolonged disruptions for shoppers, tenants or the community”.

Traffic disruptions were not anticipated, the company said, as all construction vehicles would be located on the centre’s premises throughout the project.

Residents can go to the Table View Shopping Centre Facebook page and website for updates or can contact Paul de Groot at pauldegroot@pnp.co.za for any queries.